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Movie review: <i>Sucker Punch</i>

movie art

Why did all my friends hate this movie? Except Johnny, and he doesn't count. I thought it was AWESOME.

The storyline

Baby (played by Emily Browning) is in trouble. (It's not Dirty Dancing, kids, and don't worry, you won't be confused about this, ever, even though there is a chick named Baby who dances) Her mother has just died and her abusive step-father has her institutionalised. And if John Hamm came up to me with a lobotomy hammer, I'd probably be all like, “oh, Don Draper, sure, lobotomise me” but Baby isn't so keen. With her lobotomy and therefore total loss of ability to function normally mere days away, she retreats into an alternate reality in her mind as a coping mechanism, and, joined by the other patients, tries to enact a plan, using layers of fantasy, to escape from the mental institution.

The good

The cinematography was slick as anything. The whole film looked sensational, smooth transitions from cgi to regular stuff, the filters... I don't know much about film terminology but this had a strange steam-punk, noir thing going on that just... worked. Didn't want to look away. The fight scenes, special effects, I don't have enough good stuff to say. Also, the sound track was chick-oriented. Including Bjork, which was awesome.

That said, and let's be honest, they were working with fairly decent building blocks. The main actors; Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Vanessa Hudgens... I mean, these girls are SMOKING HOT. And it's not like Sucker Punch doesn't play up to that shamelessly, with the whole Bordello fantasy vibe. The stay-up tights, the way baby wears a cutesy little sailor suits, the way every costume screams “erotic” and the fight-scenes leave so little to the imagination. In fact, Sucker Punch has the double whammy; because of the way the plot works, often the transitions into alternate realities make the whole vibe feel like the viewer is gaming. So... any guy's wet dream? Yup, this film ticks those boxes.

The bad

You know, you can't trade on hot chicks and good effects alone.

No, hang on, that's a lie.

Okay, so you CAN, but it's better if you're story line is awesome as well. And about half way through, I found this one falling short and I got worried. Was it going to crash in my estimation? I had so enjoyed those first forty odd minutes! I was feeling so smug about how in touch I was by appreciating the irony and subtlety I was sure was there! What were they DOING? My frustration lasted about ten minutes and then it picked up again, so when you think it's getting slightly predictable, don't worry, it's on purpose!

That, and you can probably count the overt use of “sex sells” as a selling point to this film. Frankly, I found it super fun, but I guess I can see why some people hated it.

In Conclusion...

Loved it. And wasn't expecting to, so bonus. Not the most thoughtful film, not heavy, not about to win an Oscar. But still. A good old fashioned sexy romp which doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is.

In short

Title: Sucker Punch
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Run time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Year released: 2011
Starring: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish
Studio: Warner Bros
Genre(s): Action
Review Type: